Quick Facts:

  • Pronunciation: dē-ä-tä’s-sō:
  • Strongs Concordance: #G1299
    • to arrange, appoint, ordain, prescribe, give order
  • Appears 16 times in 16 verses in the New Testament
  • Common translations
    • “arrange” (1x)
    • “arranged” (1x)
    • “commanded” (3x)
    • “direct” (1x)
    • “directed” (4x)
    • “gave orders” (2x)
    • “giving instructions” (1x)
    • “ordained” (1x)
    • “ordered” (1x)
    • “orders” (1x)

Where and how diatassō is used in the New Testament

  1. Matthew 11:1 NASB – “When Jesus had finished giving instructions to His twelve disciples, He departed from there to teach and preach in their cities.”

  2. Luke 3:13 NASB – “And he said to them, “Collect no more than what you have been ordered to.””

  3. Luke 8:55 NASB – “And her spirit returned, and she got up immediately; and He gave orders for something to be given her to eat.”

  4. Luke 17:9-10 NASB – “”He does not thank the slave because he did the things which were commanded, does he? “So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves; we have done  only that which we ought to have done.’””

  5. Acts 7:44 NASB – “”Our fathers had the tabernacle of testimony in the wilderness, just as He who spoke to Moses directed him to make it according to the pattern which he had seen.”

  6. Acts 18:2 NASB – “And he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, having recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. He came to them,”

  7. Acts 20:13 NASB – “But we, going ahead to the ship, set sail for Assos, intending from there to take Paul on board; for so he had arranged it, intending himself to go by land.”

  8. Acts 23:31 NASB – “So the soldiers, in accordance with their orders, took Paul and brought him by night to Antipatris.”

  9. Acts 24:23 NASB – “Then he gave orders to the centurion for him to be kept in custody and yet have some freedom, and not to prevent any of his friends from ministering to him.”

  10. 1 Corinthians 7:17 NASB – “Only, as the Lord has assigned to each one, as God has called each, in this manner let him walk. And so I direct in all the churches.”

  11. 1 Corinthians 9:14 NASB – “So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel.”

  12. 1 Corinthians 11:34 NASB – “If anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, so that you will not come together for judgment. The remaining matters I will arrange when I come.”

  13. 1 Corinthians 16:1 NASB – “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the churches of Galatia, so do you also.”

  14. Galatians 3:19 NASB – “Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made.”

  15. Titus 1:5 NASB – “For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you,”

My observations and perspective

People are being directed and instructed. Jesus did so with the disciples. The word is used the same way we’d say “he told her to do such and such”. It can be authoritative, but it’s often not. Paul gives instructions to the churches. These instructions and directions never seem to be accompanied with any exhortation or rebuke regarding obeying them, meaning Paul was not treating them as authoritative unless his instructions were the repeated commands of God or Christ. In those cases, it is the  Scripture which bears it’s own authority, not the man.
Leading and directing is fine and clearly a biblical role of instruction. It cannot be demonstrated however to be required to obey such instructions, or as proof that anything one says is “from the lord” and should be followed. God appoints people for tasks and instructs them as well.

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